Convertible roof not working, it beeps

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1991-1999) and E30 M3 (1986-1990)' started by 3litre5spd, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. 19 Jul 2021 at 7:23 PM #1
    3litre5spd

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    I've been having trouble with my roof and today it's not working at all.

    Some background info: 96' Evo Cab, semi auto roof. It has been working up until today however when opening it, the tonneau cover would stick against the back of the roof and then the back of the roof would bang against the tonneau cover on it's way down into the well so it's obvious some cables and tension straps are loose. I'd always take some time over opening it and help it along manually.

    Today the tonneau cover lifted but the roof would not go back. I googled the reset procedure:
    .pulled the lever under the back seat to disengage the motors
    .lifted tonneau cover and folded roof back into the well
    .close tonneau cover
    .engage both motors
    .close boot
    .hold roof up button and turn key two clicks

    I wait a few seconds and tonneau cover closes down into the lock position as it should.
    Then the 4 windows go do slowly a bit at a time drop..pause drop..pause drop..pause..
    While continuing to hold the up button I get a beep.. beep.. beep.. coming from the boot and nothing happens.

    I have gone through the disengage and reset procedure a handful of times but still the same.

    For the time being, I have closed it manually.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. 19 Jul 2021 at 9:19 PM #2
    MParallel

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    Strange, there is no warning beep for the roof.

    Sounds like maybe the boot interlock working intermittently.
     
  3. 20 Jul 2021 at 8:55 AM #3
    Mikescx

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    I have just repaired a semi closure roof for a customer.
    Its a very complex system with microswitches and relays.
    It took me about 20 hours to go over all the wiring and test everything.
    Without having it infront of me it’s difficult to diagnose as it could be absolutely anything.
    Where abouts are you?
     
  4. 20 Jul 2021 at 10:08 AM #4
    3litre5spd

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    I'm in central Scotland.. which is probably a long way away from you.

    I'd probably be best getting it into a specialist who has roof knowledge. Do you think there is any benefit in giving it to the BMW dealer, the guys working there may be younger than the car(?).
     
  5. 20 Jul 2021 at 10:30 AM #5
    Mikescx

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    in my opinion,the last people you want looking it at is a main dealer.They will have absolutely no clue unless there is an old boy still working there from 20 years ago.
    Its very difficult to scan the roof and you will wasting your money.
    It needs a specialist who really understands these cars.
    I will pm you my number if you want and can talk you through some basic stuff to try.
     
  6. 20 Jul 2021 at 12:01 PM #6
    3litre5spd

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    Thanks Mike for the chat, I will continue working away with it.

    For the record, I have taken a video of the beep..

    Scenario: unlatch the roof inside the car, press the roof open button, this happens..



    Beep.. Beep.. it's coming from inside the boot.

    It does not beep when the roof is latched so I believe the roof microswitch must be working(?).
    Pressing down the tonneau locks and unlocks the boot lid so that microswitch is working too.

    I'm not sure there is much more I can do by myself.
     
  7. 20 Jul 2021 at 12:24 PM #7
    MParallel

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    Never ever heard of that. I will go out and say that is not original.

    There is a pdf somewhere with very detailed instructions about the E36 softtop workings including all microswitches and their position. That would be a good starting point.

    A found it: http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/exterior/e36_convertible_adjust.pdf

    EDIT: I forgot step 1: did you read out the softtop module's fault memory? That could possible save you lots of time and chasing ghosts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  8. 20 Jul 2021 at 1:39 PM #8
    3litre5spd

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    Thanks for that. No I haven't read the memory, I'll need a specialist for that. I'll read over the above..
     
  9. 20 Jul 2021 at 2:02 PM #9
    Mikescx

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    i would agree with that and thats what I told Mark.never heard of a beep on an e36 concerning the roof
     
  10. 20 Jul 2021 at 2:33 PM #10
    MParallel

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    100% Not mentioned in any technical document (like the one I linked to), nor in the owner's handbook or supplementary instructions.
     
  11. 20 Jul 2021 at 8:35 PM #11
    3litre5spd

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    There is nothing aftermarket in the boot, it's all original. The beep is coming from the tonneau motor, we are 101% positive. I have a man hold the button and I put my ear at the rear of the car and I can pinpoint the beep, the beep also has a motor click that you can feel with your hand touching the rear wing. The beep and click is coming from exactly the same place where the tonneau motor is.

    Had another look this evening and spotted the following..

    ..it wasn't as bent earlier today, now its a banana..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ..there is a lot of play in this cable and the cable holder/guide has broken, this is at the left side..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    lastly, maybe something maybe nothing.. I found these 4 metal shims in the roof well, there were 2 laying loose either side..

    [​IMG]
     
  12. 20 Jul 2021 at 8:49 PM #12
    Mikescx

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    The shims are for the horse shoe tonneau cover, and that rod is finished. It has to be straight.
    It will need alot of work to get it to work again Im afraid.
     
  13. 20 Jul 2021 at 9:03 PM #13
    3litre5spd

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    Thanks for confirming, I thought as much. I'll call around a few specialists and see if someone knows these roofs, I'll get it sorted. It really wants a new roof. Thanks for your help. :)
     
  14. 20 Jul 2021 at 10:25 PM #14
    MParallel

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    Yeah that looks pretty messed up.

    Beep or not, if it's coming from the motor, it's making unnatural sounds.
     
  15. 22 Jul 2021 at 8:40 PM #15
    3litre5spd

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    I'm going to get this fixed and I might as well replace the mohair roof at the same time. The roof on the car at the moment is black. I have the option of navy blue..

    Question is, would blue be daft? The cabin is black leather.. but yellow with a blue hood would be very cool? Blue and yellow go well together.. opinions?

    I have a plan A and a plan B.

    Plan A is to roll it into carhoodsdirect.co.uk in Glasgow and get a (big?) bill..

    Plan B is to buy a e36 cab with a working roof and swap bits over in a process of elimination until mine works then sell the other car. This could potentially cost nothing if I can buy it cheap enough to get my money back or close to it.

    Both plans involve a new mohair roof and new tension straps and cables where required.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  16. 23 Jul 2021 at 11:50 AM #16
    MParallel

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    I wouldn't go blue, specially with black interior. Black is always good.

    You could even convert to fully electrical roof.
     

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